Oct 30
1:59 PM

ACLU Gives Up Challenge to Patriot Act

The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday dropped a lawsuit against the government over Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. The section is often called the "library provision" because it allows federal officials to demand the records of library patrons, among others, by means of secret subpoenas granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In a statement, the ACLU said Congress had made improvements to the provision when it extended the Patriot Act on March 9. The revised law allows "people who receive a demand for records to consult with a lawyer and challenge the demand in court," the advocacy group said. But according to the ACLU, the library provision is still unconstitutional since–at least initially–it bars recipients of the subpoenas from disclosing that they have received them. Citing that and other issues, the ACLU said it will still consider providing legal help to individuals who receive demands for information under the provision. —Andrea L. Foster, from The Wired Campus, a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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